Lydia: Caressing The Air And Your Soul At Roxy

All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

As soft, warm and cuddly as a baby kitten was my first impression of Lydia as I listened to them on Soundcloud. Their lush and satiny layers of sound fronted by Leighton Antelman’s velvety vocals are the underpinning of the new album called “Devil”. Listening to Lydia’s music is as pleasurable as wearing a mink lined thong and as deliciously languid sounding as a Balthus painting looks and feels. Lydia is panty dropping music with an edge.

Keeping all this in mind as I headed to the Roxy from The Beverly Wilshire Hotel on a Friday evening to experience live what I’d heard from Lydia’s new release “Devil” had my interest in them peaked. One of the pleasures of heading to the strip is seeing my old friend Stephanie Mata who man’s the door in a lady like fashion at On The Rox. We were able to Kibitz a bit before Lydia went on creating a good vibe before the show. Yes, there was some necessary drama regarding photo opts before the show. But those problems were quickly resolved and merrily I proceeded to soak up Lydia’s performance. The Roxy for me is an old and familiar setting. I know the space from years of attending various showcasing of inspiring new bands and following cult favorites in this intimate setting.

Leighton Antelman stood barefooted and center stage as the curtain was drawn back to reveal him and the band. The set was kicked off with “This Is Twice Now” from Illuminate. The “Exit” was next and the set slipped forward to new and old material. The fans were most tightly packed with greater density near the center of the front of the stage. From the beginning all eyes gazed intently on the band, while they sang along with with every note and every phrase uttered from Antelman’s lips. Lydia’s musicianship held up to the level of performance set by recording from this 5 piece ensemble. Altelman’s velvety vocals caressed the air around me and his fans in an adoring manner. It was dream like state that held all suspended in the lush environment of the music eased around us with its creamy ecstatic background and Leighton’s velvety foreground.  It was an audio canvas with seamlessly applied brush strokes of the softest nature that embodied this performance of Lydia.

Photo Gallery aftter the Jump

Leighton took time to build repore with his fans. He shared antidotal stories and insights to the songs he was performing with everyone, while they focusing on his every word. Lydia continued the dreamy soundscapes with “Hailey” and then dug into the the title song to the new album, “Devil”. Even though I’m about to use these musical references as examples of Lydia’s sound. It’s my hope that it helps you wrap your head around Lydia’s audio gestalt. Although, I find Lydia is a very different band than the band references I’m about to enumerate, I find that their is some essential elements of Lydia’s sound that I find reminiscent of  The Verve, early Chateau Twins or the mellower aspect of The Breeders’ Last Splash album. Lydia is a like a floaty opium high, not that I would know anything about that! You find yourself languidly drifting and weaving through the melodies and dream dreamscapes in the most effortless manner.

To the end the fans remained obsessed and transfixed as the band played on. Lydia finished their set with “A Fine Evening For A Rogue”. All responded with hardy round of cat calls and applause. Everyone held their place till the band returned to finish off the night in the intimate setting of The Roxy. For all in attendance it even got dreamer and creamier as Lydia left everyone in a soft warm glow of with their encore number, “Hospital”. The night ended complete and whole as the soft velvet glove of Lydia’s reveries defused into the Sunset Strip’s night.

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Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer, photographer and wardrobe stylist with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with an keen interest in art, fashion, photography and writing. He shoots celebrity events and red carpets for PR Photos, Photoshot and The Photo Access/Corbis. His images have been published in Vanity Fair, People Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. He's very engaged in life. You can follow him on his Facebook page at:
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